2019 EC-OECD STIP Survey: Emerging trends in STI policy


Contents

  1. Key messages
  2. Snapshot of policy initiative data

1. Highlights

The theme with the largest number of policies is Artificial intelligence (AI).
The largest shares of policies target public research organisations. Initiatives also frequently tackle governance issues and thus often address national governments.
By large, the most recurrent instrument is National strategies, agendas and plans. These are frequently used to structure national AI policies.

2. Snapshot of policy initiative data

The Emerging trends in STI policy area contains themes of growing interest for EC and OECD stakeholders and the broader policy-making community. This area is composed of a set of themes that are specific to the 2019 edition of the STIP Survey. Figure 1 shows that the theme with the largest number of policies is Artificial intelligence (AI), gathering schemes that support the development, use, adoption or diffusion of artificial intelligence systems. Special efforts were dedicated to collect policy data in this theme, in the context of the OECD AI Observatory, launched on 27 February 2020. This theme is followed by Ethics of emerging technologies, which groups schemes and governance structures aiming to help stakeholders involved in the development, regulation and use of emerging technologies to understand and/or address their ethical, legal, and societal aspects. Examples include laws and regulations, codes of ethics and best practice, standards, new ethics bodies or institutions, new mechanisms for public engagement. The third theme with the largest number of initiatives is Mission-oriented innovation policies. It includes meta-initiatives coordinating different policy measures, possibly spanning different stages of the innovation chain and cutting across various policy fields, in order to meet ambitious and concrete goals to address societal challenges. Next are technology-specific themes gathering flagship policies in the areas of biotechnology and nano and converging technologies. Lastly, a few Policy experiments were reported, i.e. novel approaches and/or methods for STI policy design and/or implementation (e.g. randomised control trials, pilots and testbeds).

Bokeh Plot

Figure 2 shows that most policies reported in the 2019 survey target public research organisations. National governments are also frequently addressed. Recurrent topics of the latter set are AI strategies and digital technologies (see keywords obtained by hovering the corresponding bars with the mouse). A large number of policies are reported for Firms, compared to researchers, postdocs and PhD students. Key topics for the business sector concern AI, energy, big data and ethics (see keywords). Ethical and trust issues in emerging technologies are also a key topic of policies addressing Civil society as a whole. Established researchers, another frequent target group, play an important role in biotechnology and nanotechnology flagship initiatives, as these are recurrent initiative keywords. The topics of AI and societal challenges appear more frequently in initiatives targeting Postdocs and other early-career researchers and PhD students. Policies targeting Entrepreneurs often concern AI and big data, but also climate change.

Bokeh Plot